Category: a day in the crazy life

four months already? / only four months?

I am teetering on the edge this week. The edge of what? Well, it could be any number of things...success, failure, victory, insanity. It all depends. I’m still waiting to find out.

Meanwhile, I remain grateful for the things that add joy, clarity, and perspective to our crazy days…

like our proximity to the beach

and how well Kaity and Miranda have adjusted to so many changes since May.

Essentially, they have gone from being with Rod, me, and Paige most of the time to spending 9 hours a day in school. (ouch. 9 hours hurts me right now).

But they love their teachers, they’ve made new friends, they’re in touch with their old friends, they are satisfied with our having juice and crackers for them at pick up time and (usually) quality time to spend every evening.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, Paige comes home to visit and celebrate her 18th birthday.

We’ve taken to impromptu dinners with new friends. It helps.

And we love fall here. It’s warm, y’all.

(even though Miranda found it cold when the temp dipped to 75 for a quick minute last week).

This week, I organized my files and the counter around the kitchen sink and the coffee table (baskets. candles. aaaaaah…) I am embracing my crock pot. Next week, Rod has to travel, and I plan to start getting space ready for our new roommates, who will be here in 3ish weeks(!!)

I am on the edge. I live there a lot. It’s not as exciting as other edges, and thankfully not as dangerous. It’s not the calm life I sometimes long for but secretly think I might find boring. But where it is, we’re together, occasionally eating Hostess snack cakes before dinner.

And that’s gonna do for now.

the one where they go to Beverly Hills

Last week was a whirlwind.

I mean, we tend to live in one, but last week was more of one than usual.

Due to extenuating work circumstances, we’ve been scouting magicians. Yeah. Six months ago I was scouting homeschool curriculum, now magicians. Anyway, an act at the top of our list happened to have a show in Los Angeles, where Pat Boone also happens to live (in the Hills, that is), so it made perfect sense for Rod to go.

When he started looking at flights, the airline we typically use to fly out of the Myrtle Beach airport only had flights to L.A. that stopped over in Chicago.


Well, it then made perfect sense for both of us to go (we work better together, after all) (and we haven’t had a night alone that didn’t involve packing or unpacking boxes in m o n t h s) (and, Chicago!). We flew to Chicago on Wednesday evening, leaving the girls to suffer with my parents…

We flew to L.A. Thursday morning, by way of Vegas

(it was 45 degrees in Chicago, that morning, by the way).

(it hurt my heart a little not to stop there. I heart Las Vegas)

and spent our rental-carless evening ordering pizza and watching utter crap on the TV before passing out at 9:30 pm, Pacific Time.

(and I am sad to say, due to our lack of a car and forethought, we had to pass up the opportunity to go here):

The next morning I woke up at 5 – 5AM! – which was ok, because it was already 8 on that other coast, where we live now.

I checked on Sara, because checking on her has been a habit for over a year, and now that her journey has almost ended, I find myself manically checking on her. Thankfully, on Friday, there was a blog post update, and it’s been quiet since. She is resting peacefully, it seems, and though we the internet love Gitzen Girl, this time is really about her RL family and friends. And so I pray. And choose joy…

After it became a respectable hour on the Pacific coast, Rod and I foraged for food. Let me pause her to say that while there are many lovely things about L.A., the area surrounding the airport is not one of them. At least we got a good walk in, before finding a Denny’s.

…where we encountered a waiter who was almost assuredly a character actor at some point, kind of reminding me of a pivotal Buffy character, in fact:

(and might I add here that I kind of miss scouring the internet for Buffy screencaps and such…those were the days…anyway…)

Also, Rod tried his own hand at magic.

Any second now, he’ll be shoving me into a box with flaming spikes.

Awhile after that, our new friend Marc (aka Pat Boone’s manager) picked us up and took us to the place where many pivotal scenes of The Lost Boys were fillmed~

(Also known as the Santa Monica Pier).

And we ate at a lovely restaurant across the street, where I ordered not enough of this:

(butternut squash & walnut ravioli. Yeah, it was).

And for those who enjoy hearing such anecdotes, I did trip THREE times crossing the street from the restaurant to the pier. Kelly is Kelly no matter what city she’s in…

As we headed to meetings at the Pat Boone office, Marc was a super-gracious host. He pointed out every cheesy landmark he thought I would like (It might have something to do with my squeeing over the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. He offered to stop there, but we were kinda running late, so my closest brush with the place that made Julia Roberts truly famous was this)~

It is absolutely true about L.A. traffic, by the way. There is no way Jack Bauer made it to all those places to save the world just in time. I mean, he’s amazing, but Chuck Norris he’s not…

The PBE offices~

were a ton of fun! There was Pat Boone (read: mainly 50s and 60s) memorabilia EVERYWHERE… from branded bobby socks to pictures with U.S. Presidents. And the cool part was, I got to ‘go shopping’ for the Pat Boone Family Theater by strolling around with a pad of Post-It notes (which is all this girl really needs to have a little fun) and marking things I want for display in the theater.

You’re really going to have to come see it

We did meet Pat Boone for a moment when we were there, in which he mistook me for my daughter due to this practically famous Facebook post:

And we watched some fantastic vintage footage with Charles and Andrea, the PBE office gurus. (Charles pictured here):

Then we had to leave for a magic show…20 miles/2 hours away. We pretty much made it just in time. We saw awesome stuff. Rod was an audience volunteer, teehee~

We met two completely wonderful people whom I hope to tell you about soon.

Then we crashed.

Then we woke up and graced the famous Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge with our decidedly Chicagolina selves…for breakfast with Marc and Pat Boone. For the record, the coffee was wonderful, I ordered the So Cal omelet, I did not spill anything on myself (or anyone else – score!), and… I did not take pictures.

But he was really there, as evidenced by this graceful entry he wrote for my nephew’s ‘journal around the world’ school project!~

He was full of fantastic stories. When I am, ahem, conducting business, I try not to put people into roles, but it wasn’t lost on me that Mr. Boone, just taking age into account, could be my grandfather, and my own grandparents would have gotten such a big kick out of my having breakfast with him. In Beverly-stinkin-Hills. He even sang a few little things, and prayed before breakfast. It was one of those wow moments, really.

Afterwards, I did the most subtly awestruck things I could do. I emailed my friends from the very posh bathroom, and made our good-humored Marc take this photo~

After the trip back to Illinois, we had one day to spend there. We went to our Chicago home church, we hung out with my parents, and I was visited by 3 of my besties, who came with food I can’t get in Myrtle Beach and babies i don’t get to see there~

…and then we headed to my bro and sis-in-law’s, who have one of the world’s cutest babies, which I don’t say only because she is my almost-namesake:
I was sad to see the time end, but grateful for a little bonus trip, one that included this

and this!

(having all four kids together for such a brief period of time that there are no pictures…)

and coming home to this:

We go rollin’ down this highway, chasing all our crazy dreams. You go your way and I go my way, and everywhere in between. One of these days we’ll find a piece of ground, just outside some sleepy little town, and set this circus down. { Tim McGraw }


For the last two years, we’ve kept entertainer’s hours.

That is: late, late bedtime, slow mornings.

With the little chicas starting school last week, all that had to change. We have to get them to their classes by 8:30 to avoid the dreaded hall pass or worse yet, disappointing Ms. G. or Ms
K., our children’s new idols.

Rod and I have set a bedtime for ourselves, which we typically miss by 45 minutes or so, because you can’t schedule OCD, or the entertainment business, and you just never know when the 17 piles of paperwork that have accumulated in the kitchen will need to be moved into a filing system, or when this or that artist need a Burton-therapy session (God help them…)

On Sunday night, Rod dutifully fell into bed on time. His wife, however, was suffering from awesome-nap-followed-by-too-much-caffeine-to-combat-grogginess Sunday night insomnia, and so it’s possible an uncontrollable fit of cackle woke him up shortly before 1am. (I both blame and thank Chandler Bing).

The result of all this time-adjustment means that mornings are like a series of mini-explosions. BAM! Wake up! BAM! Cuddle! BAM! Imagination Movers while getting dressed (a dress for M, shorts and a t-shirt and socks for KK, without fail). BAM! Fight through the teeth-brushing process. BAM! Make a car-ready breakfast. And then thankfully, YAY! The girls can’t wait to get to school. It’s very sweet, and of course, a little sad, too.


After we drop them off, all bright-eyed and crumby from their toast, my adrenaline suffers a serious slow down. A second (and sometimes third, and honestly, fourth) coffee is in order. Rod craves sugar. We soak in some vitamin D in this blessedly sunny locale we now call home. And through exchanges of ‘what’s up today?’ and what’s funny on Twitter and ‘this will be easier when we have _________,” we gather ourselves for a day full of the unexpected.

Until 5ish pm, when we pick up the people we know best in the world, and start all over again.

Biker chicks

Two years ago, the excitement was that I got a bike stroller so they could ride with me.

Here we are, two harried summers and a few dozen bike rides later. I gave my bike away before the move (because a moving truck, trailer, 2 cars, and a bus could not contain all our crap), but I brought the stroller, thinking it would just be a matter of time before a few new bikes took residence in our garage.

I was right.



My babies are taking on the sidewalk on their own terms now. Sigh. Time flies by me in a blur of pink and purple and endless chatter and excited giggles.

Special thanks to our team of rocket engineers for making this evening possible…


what defeat looks like

We call Kaity crazy often. She has very passionate and specific ideas about how things should go. She works very hard to make them happen. When they don’t happen the way she believes they should, she yells, hits, cries, and sometimes, throws herself prostrate upon the floor.

…a  picture of steel ambition melting into utter defeat.

She is 3.. and just like me.

I don’t know why we always have to try so hard. I believe it’s ok to be ambitious. God makes us all a certain way, and the Capriotti-Burton family is full of leaders. We have visions and we grab a paint brush to turn them into reality. We have a task set before us and we run to it. We are challenged and we strap on our shield and unsheath our swords and dare the opposition to take us down.

And sometimes, it does.

I think it is ok not to be passive, but my lack of patience for passiveness is getting me into unpleasant circumstances now and then. Not everyone moves at my pace. Not everyone sees as I do, even if, you know, I just know I am right. And even though God made me the kind of person who paves ways instead of waiting for them…

… sometimes, when you’ve waited, then moved on, then torn down walls, then used the tools you have until they don’t work anymore, and you’re still waiting for it to work,

you just need to stop.

And rest.

And wait.

It doesn’t have to feel like defeat. It doesn’t have to send you crumbling.

Maybe, just maybe, it needs to look like rest…’cause you can kick down walls all day long, but you can’t make something out of nothing.

Now, I am going to take a sledge hammer to my slow-loading computer…